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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 136-H.F.No. 331 
                  An act relating to health; modifying provisions 
                  relating to access to patients and residents; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 144.6501, 
                  subdivisions 1 and 4; 144.651, subdivisions 21 and 26; 
                  and 253B.03, subdivisions 3 and 4. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 144.6501, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [DEFINITIONS.] For purposes of this 
        section, the following terms have the meanings given them. 
           (a) "Facility" means a nursing home licensed under chapter 
        144A or a boarding care facility licensed under sections 144.50 
        to 144.58. 
           (b) "Contract of admission," "admission contract," or 
        "admission agreement," includes, but is not limited to, all 
        documents that a resident or resident's representative must sign 
        at the time of, or as a condition of, admission to the 
        facility.  Oral representations and statements between the 
        facility and the resident or resident's representative are not 
        part of the contract of admission unless expressly contained in 
        writing in those documents.  The contract of admission must 
        specify the obligations of the resident or the responsible party.
           (c) "Legal representative" means an attorney-in-fact under 
        a valid power of attorney executed by the prospective resident, 
        or a conservator or guardian of the person or of the estate, or 
        a representative payee appointed for the prospective resident, 
        or other agent of limited powers. 
           (d) "Responsible party" means a person who has access to 
        the resident's income and assets and who agrees to apply the 
        resident's income and assets to pay for the resident's care or 
        who agrees to make and complete an application for medical 
        assistance on behalf of the resident. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 144.6501, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [RESIDENTS' SIGNATURES RESIDENT AND FACILITY 
        OBLIGATIONS.] (a) Before or at the time of admission, the 
        facility shall make reasonable efforts to communicate the 
        content of the admission contract to, and obtain on the 
        admission contract the signature of, the person who is to be 
        admitted to the facility and the responsible party.  The 
        admission contract must be signed by the prospective resident 
        unless the resident is legally incompetent or cannot understand 
        or sign the admission contract because of the resident's medical 
        condition.  
           (b) If the resident cannot sign the admission contract, the 
        reason must be documented in the resident's medical record by 
        the admitting physician. 
           (c) If the determination under paragraph (b) has been made, 
        the facility may request the signature of another person on 
        behalf of the applicant, subject to the provisions of paragraph 
        (d).  The facility must not require the person to disclose any 
        information regarding the person's personal financial assets, 
        liabilities, or income, unless the person voluntarily chooses to 
        become financially responsible for the resident's care.  The 
        facility must issue timely billing, respond to questions, and 
        monitor timely payment.  
           (d) A person who desires to assume financial responsibility 
        for the resident's care may contract with the facility to do so. 
        A person other than the resident or a financially responsible 
        spouse who is financially responsible for the resident who signs 
        an admission contract must not be required by the facility to 
        assume personal financial responsibility liability for the 
        resident's care.  A person who desires to assume financial 
        responsibility for the resident's care may contract with the 
        facility to do so.  However, if the responsible party has signed 
        the admission contract and fails to make timely payment of the 
        facility obligation, or knowingly fails to spenddown the 
        resident's assets appropriately for the purpose of obtaining 
        medical assistance, then the responsible party shall be liable 
        to the facility for the resident's costs of care which are not 
        paid for by medical assistance.  A responsible party shall be 
        personally liable only to the extent the resident's income or 
        assets were misapplied. 
           (e) The admission contract must include written notice in 
        the signature block, in bold capital letters, that a person 
        other than the resident or financially responsible spouse may 
        not be required by the facility to assume personal financial 
        responsibility liability for the resident's care.  
           (f) This subdivision does not preclude the facility from 
        obtaining the signature of a legal representative, if applicable.
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 144.651, 
        subdivision 21, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 21.  [COMMUNICATION PRIVACY.] Patients and residents 
        may associate and communicate privately with persons of their 
        choice and enter and, except as provided by the Minnesota 
        Commitment Act, leave the facility as they choose.  Patients and 
        residents shall have access, at their expense, to writing 
        instruments, stationery, and postage.  Personal mail shall be 
        sent without interference and received unopened unless medically 
        or programmatically contraindicated and documented by the 
        physician in the medical record.  There shall be access to a 
        telephone where patients and residents can make and receive 
        calls as well as speak privately.  Facilities which are unable 
        to provide a private area shall make reasonable arrangements to 
        accommodate the privacy of patients' or residents' calls.  Upon 
        admission to a facility, a patient or resident, or the patient's 
        or resident's legal guardian or conservator, shall be given the 
        opportunity to authorize disclosure of the patient's or 
        resident's presence in the facility, to callers or visitors who 
        may seek to communicate with the patient or resident.  This 
        disclosure option must be made available in all cases where 
        federal law prohibits unauthorized disclosure of patient or 
        resident identifying information to callers and visitors, the 
        patient or resident, or the legal guardian or conservator of the 
        patient or resident, shall be given the opportunity to authorize 
        disclosure of the patient's or resident's presence in the 
        facility to callers and visitors who may seek to communicate 
        with the patient or resident.  To the extent possible, the legal 
        guardian or conservator of a patient or resident shall consider 
        the opinions of the patient or resident regarding the disclosure 
        of the patient's or resident's presence in the facility.  This 
        right is limited where medically inadvisable, as documented by 
        the attending physician in a patient's or resident's care 
        record.  Where programmatically limited by a facility abuse 
        prevention plan pursuant to section 626.557, subdivision 14, 
        clause 2, this right shall also be limited accordingly.  
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 144.651, 
        subdivision 26, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 26.  [RIGHT TO ASSOCIATE.] Residents may meet with 
        visitors and participate in activities of commercial, religious, 
        political, as defined in section 203B.11 and community groups 
        without interference at their discretion if the activities do 
        not infringe on the right to privacy of other residents or are 
        not programmatically contraindicated.  This includes the right 
        to join with other individuals within and outside the facility 
        to work for improvements in long-term care.  Upon admission to a 
        facility, a patient or resident, or the patient's or resident's 
        legal guardian or conservator, shall be given the opportunity to 
        authorize disclosure of the patient's or resident's presence in 
        the facility, to callers or visitors who may seek to communicate 
        with the patient or resident.  This disclosure option must be 
        made available in all cases where federal law prohibits 
        unauthorized disclosure of patient or resident identifying 
        information to callers and visitors, the patient or resident, or 
        the legal guardian or conservator of the patient or resident, 
        shall be given the opportunity to authorize disclosure of the 
        patient's or resident's presence in the facility to callers and 
        visitors who may seek to communicate with the patient or 
        resident.  To the extent possible, the legal guardian or 
        conservator of a patient or resident shall consider the opinions 
        of the patient or resident regarding the disclosure of the 
        patient's or resident's presence in the facility. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 253B.03, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [VISITORS AND PHONE CALLS.] Subject to the 
        general rules of the treatment facility, a patient has the right 
        to receive visitors and make phone calls.  The head of the 
        treatment facility may restrict visits and phone calls on 
        determining that the medical welfare of the patient requires 
        it.  Any limitation imposed on the exercise of the patient's 
        visitation and phone call rights and the reason for it shall be 
        made a part of the clinical record of the patient.  Upon 
        admission to a facility, a patient or resident, or the patient's 
        or resident's legal guardian or conservator, shall be given the 
        opportunity to authorize disclosure of the patient's or 
        resident's presence in the facility, to callers or visitors who 
        may seek to communicate with the patient or resident.  This 
        disclosure option must be made available in all cases where 
        federal law prohibits unauthorized disclosure of patient or 
        resident identifying information to callers and visitors, the 
        patient or resident, or the legal guardian or conservator of the 
        patient or resident, shall be given the opportunity to authorize 
        disclosure of the patient's or resident's presence in the 
        facility to callers and visitors who may seek to communicate 
        with the patient or resident.  To the extent possible, the legal 
        guardian or conservator of a patient or resident shall consider 
        the opinions of the patient or resident regarding the disclosure 
        of the patient's or resident's presence in the facility. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 253B.03, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [SPECIAL VISITATION; RELIGION.] A patient has the 
        right to meet with or call a personal physician, spiritual 
        advisor, and counsel at all reasonable times.  Upon admission to 
        a facility, a patient or resident, or the patient's or 
        resident's legal guardian or conservator, shall be given the 
        opportunity to authorize disclosure of the patient's or 
        resident's presence in the facility, to callers or visitors who 
        may seek to communicate with the patient or resident.  This 
        disclosure option must be made available in all cases where 
        federal law prohibits unauthorized disclosure of patient or 
        resident identifying information to callers and visitors, the 
        patient or resident, or the legal guardian or conservator of the 
        patient or resident, shall be given the opportunity to authorize 
        disclosure of the patient's or resident's presence in the 
        facility to callers and visitors who may seek to communicate 
        with the patient or resident.  To the extent possible, the legal 
        guardian or conservator of a patient or resident shall consider 
        the opinions of the patient or resident regarding the disclosure 
        of the patient's or resident's presence in the facility.  The 
        patient has the right to continue the practice of religion. 
           Presented to the governor May 5, 1995 
           Signed by the governor May 8, 1995, 3:46 p.m.